Fate of sheep thief caught with animal porn on his phone still hangs in the balance

A WhatsApp group user who was caught with extreme pornographic images of a dead cat and a horse after he was investigated for stealing a sheep from the Peak District has had his case further adjourned.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard during a trial how Ali El-Aridi, 23, had received a collage picture of images of a dead cat in various sex acts with a man and a video of a horse involved in an oral sex act with a man.

Ali El-Aridi, 23, of Stubbin Lane, Sheffield, leaves Chesterfield magistrates' court on bail last week after he was found guilty of two counts of possessing extreme pornography including a horse and a dead cat.

Ali El-Aridi, 23, of Stubbin Lane, Sheffield, leaves Chesterfield magistrates' court on bail last week after he was found guilty of two counts of possessing extreme pornography including a horse and a dead cat.

Prosecuting solicitor Mark Fielding told the trial on June 14 that El Aridi’s phone was checked by police after he was investigated for stealing a sheep from near Ladybower Reservoir, at Bamford, in August, 2018.

The defendant, of Stubbin Lane, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to the theft and to failing to ensure the sheep had not suffered and he was found guilty of two counts of possessing extreme pornography after the trial.

Mr Fielding said the illegal pornographic had been sent by a member of the defendant’s WhatsApp group and had been received by El-Aridi and had remained on his phone.

El-Aridi had denied possessing the extreme pornography on the grounds the images had been sent by someone else and that he did not know they were on his mobile phone and he also claimed he had not seen them.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

But Mr Fielding said the defendant will have received a notification and he argued there was dialogue among the WhatsApp group about the images.

Magistrates found El-Aridi guilty of the two counts of possessing extreme pornography and he admitted the theft of the sheep and failing to ensure the sheep did not suffer.

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Defence solicitor Aaron Dinnes said El-Aridi’s involvement with the images had been down to his ignorance and negligence rather for any sexual gratification.

Mr Fielding, prosecuting, added that El-Aridi and others had originally taken the sheep and dragged it into the back of defendant’s car and taken it to Sheffield before releasing the animal.

The sheep was recovered in a Sheffield car park, according to Mr Fielding, and was returned to its flock.

El-Aridi’s case had been adjourned for sentencing today, Tuesday, June 18, but it has been further adjourned until June 25 for the court to consider a more comprehensive probation report.

The defendant was released on unconditional bail.